Land of Napoleon and Cola

Dolly somewhere in the middle of Corsica March 2014

Dolly somewhere in the middle of Corsica March 2014 (Photography by Lettie)

A huge thank you to Anthony Phillips and Denise Arnold for being instrumental in my wonderful trip to Corsica. The kindness of the audiences and organisers was unprecedented.  On my way over I bought Mike Rutherford’s book which writes about the early Charterhouse days and the beginning of Genesis and his meeting with Anthony.

2110 Corse Ile d'Amour Moriani et ses environs San-Nicolao Edition Roc E Mare Fabrication Francaise Marque Deposee

2110 Corse Ile d’Amour Moriani et ses environs San-Nicolao Edition Roc E Mare Fabrication Francaise Marque Deposee

Villages de Corse Marignana Photographie J M Battini

Villages de Corse Marignana Photographie J M Battini

I did two gigs on two different parts of the island. The first performance was at Ustaria Di A Rota in Marignana and I was driven by the wonderful Denise with all my gear for 3 hours through gorges and mountains, down one single windy beautiful road.

Somewhere in the mountains of Corsica

Somewhere in the mountains of Corsica (Photograph by Lettie)

In the shadows of the snow capped mountains that looked like they had been sprinkled with icing sugar, through the evergreens, under the rocky faces, past the empty out of season hotel that reminded me of ‘The Shining’ and on on through continually breathtaking scenery.

Up in the mountains crossing from east to west Corsica March 2014  (Photograph by Lettie)

Up in the mountains crossing from east to west Corsica March 2014 (Photograph by Lettie)

Snow capped mountains of Corsica March 2014 photograph by Denise Arnold

Snow capped mountains of Corsica March 2014 (Photograph by Denise Arnold)

A wonderful restaurant and bar with it’s own theatre situated on the west of the island in Marignana was a trouvé. Despite the language barrier of neither speaking French nor Corsican, I did my very best to engage. Invariably I spoke Spanish to a perplexed Corsican audience! Cedric a talented sound engineer did a sterling job of helping me.

Ustaria Di a Rota Club March 2014

Ustaria Di a Rota Club March 2014

 

At Ustaria Di a Rota Club March 2014

At Ustaria Di a Rota Club March 2014 (Photography by Lettie)

Poster advertising Lettie's performance at Ustaria Di A Rota March 28th 2014

Poster advertising Lettie’s performance at Ustaria Di A Rota March 28th 2014

Lettie at Ustaria di A Rota photograph by Denise Arnold

Lettie at Ustaria di A Rota, Marignana (Photograph by Denise Arnold)

Lettie at Ustaria di A Rota by Denise Arnold

Lettie at Ustaria di A Rota by Denise Arnold

Lettie and unknown gentleman at Ustaria di a Rota photograph by Denise Arnold

Lettie and unknown gentleman at Ustaria di a Rota (Photograph by Denise Arnold) March 28th 2014

At Ustaria di A Rota pre gig 28th March 2014

At Ustaria di A Rota pre gig 28th March 2014 (Photograph by Lettie)

The second was at a club at the Tavagna Club in Talasani.

Tavagna Club 20230 Talasani

Tavagna Club 20230 Talasani

Tavagna Club 20230 Talasani 04 95 31 36 94

Tavagna Club 20230 Talasani 04 95 31 36 94

The organiser Francescu Marcantei is himself a musician and sings with an all male choir creates haunting spiritual music as well as traditional Corsican songs.

Tavagna in Veru Concert de Polyphonie Corse  Label Sergent Major Mosaic Music Distribution 2006

Tavagna in Veru Concert de Polyphonie Corse Label Sergent Major Mosaic Music Distribution 2006

Francescu Marcantei at Tavagna Club Talasani Corsia

Francescu Marcantei at Tavagna Club Talasani Corsica

I have been listening to his albums and it is clear the Corsicans love voices and perhaps my own music when it was it’s most bare and simple was the most effective. I therefore adjusted my second set to cut down on the electronics!  You can see a couple of performances on my youtube channel.

Corsica in Marignana Maria Saveria Cardi 1950 Cismonte e Pumonti Edizione 20229 Nucariu Corsica copyright

Corsica in Marignana Maria Saveria Cardi 1950 Cismonte e Pumonti Edizione 20229 Nucariu Corsica copyright

Corsica Foto di Francescu Cardi 1979 Canut corsu in a notte Chant Corse, la nuit

Corsica Foto di Francescu Cardi 1979 Canut corsu in a notte Chant Corse, la nuit

Corsica Foto di Francescu Cardi 1980 Muntange di Vicu in a matina Montagnes de Vico le martin copyright Francescu Cardi

Corsica Foto di Francescu Cardi 1980 Muntange di Vicu in a matina Montagnes de Vico le martin copyright Francescu Cardi

Corsica Capi Corsu Foto di Francscu Cardi 1984 (copyright of Francescu Cardi)

Corsica Capi Corsu Foto di Francscu Cardi 1984 (copyright of Francescu Cardi)

The trip was an adventure.   It reaffirmed to me that the new music I am doing with Dave Barbarossa and Mark Vernon is in the right direction at least I’m keeping it simple!

Denise Arnold on the beach

Denise Arnold on the beach

Thank you to all those that came and a special one to Denise for her patience and tolerating the time I spent creating bizarre photographs of these traditional dolls that have journeyed with me on various islands over the last two years.

Lettie in the mountains of Corsica by Denise Arnold

Lettie in the mountains of Corsica by Denise Arnold

In the meantime back in London the tracks with Dave Barbarossa will be done in the next few weeks and Dave is back with the Adam and the Ants so I’m thrilled he’s back on the big stages where he belongs. So my writing continues with Mark Vernon and will take me over the next few months. Cameron Craig has kindly agreed to mix this album.

Me and Mark at his Birthday party March 2014

Me and Mark at his Birthday party March 2014

I also have an electronic track from an artist in Italy to sing now I have retrieved the microphone David Baron has lent me from Funky Junk!  It seems so long since the last album with David and it’s all thanks to him that I’m even doing it.

Blue tit in Denise Arnold's garden

Blue tit in Denise Arnold’s garden

As a last note I bought a book called Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visted and Never Will by Judith Schlansky. I have continued to buy numerous copies as presents for people and as the plane  MH370 disappeared I looked up in this book any possible remote islands in the vicinity.

Postcard not known

Postcard not known

It is strange that one of the most secret bases on earth Diego Garcia which I pointed out looking at the map in the book, is circulating on the internet as holding a key. What’s even stranger is the pilot had this particular runway in his flight simulator. Despite the great tragedy of this for families involved and not to belittle that at all, it is the most extraordinary story of recent times.

xXx

(click on any image to make larger)

I was sad to hear the passing of Ronnie Terrill who used to follow my tour in 2009 with Peter Murphy on Facebook.  I saw him just before Christmas for the first time in ages. I used to spend many days talking with him, he used to collect garden gnomes, work at Ronnie Scotts and own various galleries before I knew him.  When I first arrived in London and met him in Finches pub, he took me under his wing and took me to all his haunts in Soho and Notting Hill and introduced me to a lot of people but I hadn’t seen him for years. You made me laugh. I’ll miss you.

Lettie in Corsica by Denise Arnold March 2014

Lettie in Corsica by Denise Arnold March 2014

About lettiemusic

Part time artist based in London
This entry was posted in Ephemera, Music, Postcards, Singer Songwriter London, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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